08/10/16: Disney’s big BAM bet; NBC orders delivery ; FOX throws Alex a farewell heater


Good morning. It’s Wednesday August 10, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing. 

The Walt Disney Company officially locked in BAMTech to its portfolio, acquiring a 33% stake in the technology services and video streaming company. The deal will see BAMTech separated from MLBAM with Disney paying $1 billion in two installments for its share of the company with the option to acquire majority ownership in the coming years. BAMTech will become a “key partner for Disney in the delivery and support of streaming video and other digital products” and collaborate with ESPN to launch and distribute a new ESPN-branded multi-sport subscription streaming service in the future that will include live regional, national and international sporting events. Current content on ESPN’s linear networks will not appear on the new subscription streaming service. Meanwhile, the NHL receives a minority interest in BAMTech, as the result of a previous agreement.

“Our investment in BAMTech gives us the technology infrastructure we need to quickly scale and monetize our streaming capabilities at ESPN and across our company,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.  “We look forward to working closely with BAMTech as we explore new ways to deliver the unmatched content of The Walt Disney Company across a variety of platforms.” 


NBC Olympics released findings from its new Total Audience Delivery report for the 2016 Rio Games, stating that the overall delivery for Monday’s primetime coverage averaged an 18.1 household rating and tallied 31.5 million viewers. Through four days, viewership is averaging 27.2 million viewers, with an 8.0 score among adults 18-49, according to Nielsen. For the third consecutive day, NBC Olympics digital platforms marked their best day ever, with 13.7 million unique users on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app on Monday with live streaming tripling the London Olympics to hit 647 million live minutes so far.

FOX Sports is giving Alex Rodriquez a national sendoff, announcing plans to carry his final game as the Yankees face the Rays on Friday. The YES Network will also televise the game live within its footprint with YES’ pregame coverage set for 6p. FOX’s coverage will feature Kevin Burkhardt, analyst John Smoltz and reporter Ken Rosenthal on the call.

On the talent front, FOX Sports also unveiled the broadcast teams for the upcoming NFL season, led by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, who call their 15th regular season and fifth Super Bowl together starting with the Giants/Cowboys on Sept. 11 at 4:25p. Erin Andrews returns to FOX’s lead NFL broadcast team and reports from the sidelines. Other teams will include Kevin Burkhardt/John Lynch/Pam Oliver; Kenny Albert/Daryl Johnston/Laura Okmin; Thom Brennaman/Charles Davis/Peter Schrager; Chris Myers/Ronde Barber/Jennifer Hale; Dick Stockton/Chris Spielman/Kristina Pink; and Sam Rosen/David Diehl/(rotating reporters) Shannon Spake/Holly Sonders.
ESPN gave a rundown of microphone duties for its opening weekend of college football action from Sept. 3-5. ESPN’s lead commentating team of Chris Fowler/Kirk Herbstreit/Samantha Ponder will call two games in three days, beginning with ABC’s Saturday Night Football featuring Alabama/USC at 8p , followed by the Rebels/Seminoles on Labor Day at 8p on ESPN. Joe Tessitore makes his return calling prime-time games with Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe with Notre Dame/Texas. Other pairings include Dave Pasch/Greg McElroy/Tom Luginbill for the 2016 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff; Steve Levy/Brian Griese/Todd McShay with LSU/Wisconsin; Bob Wischusen/Brock Huard/Allison Williams work the 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game; and Brent Musburger/Jesse Palmer/Kaylee Hartung call Clemson/Auburn

NFL Network announced plans to offer fans a record 16 live games as part of its slate of 64 preseason contests over the next month, beginning tomorrow with Saints/Patriots at 7:30p. Returning to the lineup this year will be four special preseason editions of NFL RedZone, hosted by Scott Hanson.

Meanwhile, Univision Los Angeles is now set to become the exclusive Spanish-language broadcaster of Los Angeles Rams preseason games, marking the first NFL partnership for Univision Local Media. The three-year deal will see Univision and UniMas broadcast Rams preseason games and their pregame shows on KMEX Univision 34 and KFTR UniMas 46 through the 2018 season. Univision will also offer a fan activation area at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on the East side of the stadium for games all season. In addition, Univision Arizona and the Arizona Cardinals announced a partnership renewal that runs three years with live broadcast the team’s four preseason games and 16 regular season games via Latino Mix KQMR 100.3FM and KHOV 105.3 FM as well as two pre-season games running on UniMas Arizona in Phoenix on KFPH UniMas 35 and Tucson on KFTU UniMas 25.

Bounce TV hits Vegas for the first time for its next edition of PBC: The Next Round, anchored by Ishe “Sugar Shay” Smith/Frank “Notorious” Galarza on Sept. 16 at 9p. The event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions.



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Minor League Baseball drew up a new partnership with Crayola, now a Preferred Partner of the league and a number of its teams, that will see the brand featured on select Crayola product packaging via key retailers. The pair will also host a Crayola All-Star Experience Sweepstakes offering fans “unprecedented access and an up close and personal look into MiLB.” "Crayola is excited to be teaming up with Minor League Baseball," said Mimi Dixon, Customer Development & Activation for Crayola. "It’s the first sports sponsorship of its kind for Crayola and we are planning to surprise and delight families next season with fun, color and creativity."

The Collegiate Licensing Company inked a multi-year extension of its partnership agreement with the University of Illinois to continue managing the school’s trademark licensing program. CLC began partnering with Illinois in 1983 and will continue to focus on the selection and management of licensees to build the University’s brand while increasing sales of products.

Nitro Circus named Branding Streams as its licensing agency of record for Canada where they will represent the brand in country and develop a full range of consumer products for the market.


Another big infusion for NextVR, announcing the funding of $80 million in a Series B round that will be leveraged to help the company expand its global footprint. According to the company, “the Series B investment positions NextVR to accelerate development of its virtual reality platform and international operations to bring considerably more live entertainment  from concerts, world-class sports and other performances  to consumers through an expanding array of high-profile, global technology, entertainment and investment partners,” with investors that include CITIC Guoan Information Industry Co Ltd, NetEase, CMC Holdings, and SoftBank Corp. among others.


ESL hits gamecom offering tournaments spanning the likes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Elsword, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, Lawbreakers, League of Legends, and Overwatch. In addition the league is partnering with Nintend to host a Splatoon Showdown atthe ESL Arena with all coverage livestreamed via Twitch.tv/ESL. The official ESL Event App will also keep gamescom visitors up-to-date with all ESL Arena action while HP, Intel, Lenovo, Logitech G, MEDION, NEXON, One.de, Robert Space Industries, Samsung, Sennheiser, Square Enix and ZOWIE will feature exclusive activities at their gaming booths in the ESL Arena. –

EA Sports and the Premier League unveiled a new "lead partner" status designed to offer greater cross promotion between the two organization that will include "on-screen branding on all the League’s global broadcasts, sponsorship of the official Player of the Month and Season Awards.” “This partnership will allow EA Sports to collaborate even more with the League and the clubs, and to be part of the interest and excitement around the competition, both through their fantastic games and the association with the Premier League that this agreement brings,” said Premier League Managing Director, Richard Masters.

beActive announced the production wrap of The Players, a fictional TV series about a team’s path to the European Championship Finals of League of Legends. The series was taped in Lisbon in June and July this year and will be available in formats that include a Web version with eight episodes of 12 minutes in addition to 48’ and 90’ versions for TV.


NBC serves up beach volleyball, swimming and gymnastics at 8p.




ON THIS DAY in 1981: Pete Rose gets hit #3631 to break Stan Musial’s NL hit record.

In The Know: Who Olympic portrayed runner Steve Prefontaine in the movie Prefontaine? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)

Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: With team did Ichiro Suzuki play for while with Japan’s NPB? Answer: Orix Blue Wave. Kudos: Lewis Blaustein-GreenSportsBlogger/NY; Michael Ritz-BucStar Consulting/NY; Troy Perlowitz-ESPN/Charlotte; Tim Buckman-NBC Sports Group/Stamford; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Lance Phegley-Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine/Houston; Judie Henninger-Valentine Productions/Santa Monica; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank.

Later — Chris
Chris Pursell for Cynopsis | Sports @VegasandVine

Roberta Caploe: Publisher @robertacaploe
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